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Wellbeing / Work motivation

Five strategies to get motivated

Every soloist has found themselves staring blankly at their computer screen, unable to get motivated. Here are some simple motivation tips to get you back on track, without wasting any more time.

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Psychologists refer to motivation as the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behaviour. Self-help gurus refer to it as the key to success. Whatever your point of view, motivation is a necessary part of every day when you work for yourself.

For everyone, there are times where it just doesn’t seem to exist. Whether you are low on motivation for a day, or it’s becoming a long-term problem, the good news is you can get out of the rut.

But if you stay in the rut too long, it turns into a cycle of guilt, frustration and self-doubt. You feel frustrated that you’re not getting work done and guilty that you’re not being productive. At the end of the day, if you’re not careful, you will also be letting your clients down as well.

Here are five motivation tips to rejuvenate, inspire and help get you off your butt and back to work. They may seem overly simple or obvious, but often it’s the easy solution which aids the most.

1. Get out!

Take a break. Go for a walk around the block or grab a notebook and go to a café or park bench. Look for happiness and beauty around you: children playing, the sun shining or the rhythm of falling rain. Be inspired and enjoy the break without feeling guilty. Have faith that when you get back to your desk you will be mentally ready to get back to work.

2. Read

Learning is a key element of motivation, whether you are setting out a goal for the day or a major goal that affects your entire life. Subscribe to industry journals to keep up to date on what’s going on in your field. Read a newspaper or magazine article. Clip articles that offer ideas and inspiration for your work and keep them in a folder. That way you can refer back to them when you’re looking for a new project.

"Here are five motivation tips to rejuvenate, inspire and help get you off your butt and back to work."

You can also learn from the success of others. Is there anyone in particular you admire? Search for articles and books about them. Ask yourself why you admire them and what makes them more effective than others in their field. Learn from their success and integrate it into your own strategy.

Want more articles like this? Check out the work motivation section.

3. Write down a plan

Set aside 30 minutes at the end of each day to review what you’ve accomplished and plan for tomorrow. This is also your chance to write down your goals for the day, month and year. Set deadlines for each goal and stick to them. Write them down where they serve as a constant reminder: on the screensaver of your computer or a bulletin board in front of your desk. When you right down your goals you make them tangible, not mere whims floating around in your head.

4. Phone a friend

Yes, it’s a lifeline on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but it’s one for you as well. Preferably call a colleague that understands your business. This could mean hunting down an old work pal. Effectively you’re networking without thinking about it. Go to industry events, get yourself out there. Share your excitement about a goal with others; it makes it more achievable. Then you can celebrate together over a drink or a meal when you’ve completed your goal.

5. Reward yourself

Set rewards for when you achieve a goal. The rewards should fit the task. A daily goal could be rewarded with a trip to the local café while a major goal could be rewarded by a holiday. If your problem is procrastinating on a specific task, seeing something waiting for you when you finish it could be all you need to get going.

Hopefully these five steps will help get you back on track, and help you to get motivated and feel confident and inspired. But at the end of the day don’t forget to look at the big picture. Are you doing what you love? Are you just having a bad day or is your lack of motivation affecting other aspects of your life? If the problem isn’t an easy one to fix, you may need to analyse yourself, your business and why you’re doing it.

Michele Hackshall

is a copywriter and technical writer with over 15 years’ experience writing marketing material for some of Australia’s most prominent brands. She’s written everything from postcards to books.

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